December 03, 2015

Virgin Galactic Welcomes ‘Cosmic Girl’ To Fleet Of Space Access Vehicles

At an industry partners event today in San Antonio, Texas, Richard Branson and our small satellite launch team announced more important news in the development of our exciting LauncherOne business..

Due to high levels of demand for both SpaceShipTwo human spaceflights and LauncherOne small satellite missions, Virgin Galactic has decided to have a specifically dedicated carrier aircraft for each program. With that decision made, it became possible to select an aircraft for the LauncherOne business that would have the performance characteristics to hit the payload and orbit sweet-spots in demand for rapid, flexible, dedicated and cost effective small satellite launch..

In the lead up to the announcement, an interdisciplinary team from Virgin Galactic spent several months researching the most appropriate aircraft type and then locating a suitable vehicle for procurement and modification.

As a result of that work the team announced today that Virgin Atlantic’s aptly but coincidentally named Cosmic Girl has joined the Virgin Galactic fleet as its second mother-ship. Cosmic Girl went into service in 2001 and will spend her new life as an aerial platform for LauncherOne, facilitating a new generation of small satellites which will help us in our mission to open space for the benefit of life on Earth.

Read the full press release HERE